Travel to race destination has always been associated with a certain amount of hassle, arrangement, pre-organization and what not. It is a burden enough to organize the travel necessities per se [flights, booking, etc.] so I always seek a peace of mind to have a travel companion [travel bag] with me that doesn’t cause any additional headaches and paranoia in regards to airport personals careless handling, etc.
Obviously a handy packing, durable build and reliable bag is more than welcome. I am stating this because my long standing firsthand experience with numerous travel bag producers had been, at times, a roller-coaster “journey”.
I kept Scicon in high regards based off their high reputation as well as their decent track record, meaning a broad product portfolio packed with quality gadgets. On top of that, Scicon presence in Pro Tour peloton testifies something. I have touch based with Pro tour team personal and sought their experience. It’s been refreshing to learn from their seasoned entourage about the product, whereby their statement has been across the board positive.
I opted for Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA, which is a dedicated MTB travel bag, instead of the “road” version. Despite that fact, Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA had been ‘misused’ for training camps and cyclo cross races as well, where we managed to put there road bikes without any issue.
But I do see the rational to make a MTB dedicated travel bag. The Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA is a secure case which swallows a XXL 29er easily, and mostly, road bike cases are just too small.
Additionally it is explicitly custom-made to fit the dimensions of mountain bikes. Burly endure race bikes as well as sizable 29ers need more space. The bag is built of foam padded, so called Nylon 840Denier Ripstop.
Inside you will find an enormous SciCon’s Antishock Bike Frame (ABF). Normally the frame is fixed via fork or bottom bracket, in this case however the Antishock frame and the front fork is attached to the frame. This diminishes lateral movement and any kind of vibration and it keeps all the small parts in the bag in place in the process. Now in case you have to deal with different axle sizes, there is an additional QR/Thru Axles option to be had.
I was curious whether the shape of the bag accepts integrated seatposts. Yes it does indeed: I fitted into up to 95cm tall one. The removed handlebars had been kept fixed and against rubbing by way of a padded protector. On each side of the bag there are internal pockets, to accommodate your wheels and a separate pocket for small parts such as shoes, helmet or accessories. The disc brakes were kept secure as the wheel pockets are double padded. All the above creates a secure environment for your bike and belongings.
Now, moving the bag in huge airport areas is eased by well-constructed four wheels. Maneuverability is truly “walking-in-the-park” procedure. For sure you can pick up the bag as well via added shoulder strap.
Upon arrival, it is easily foldable to about two-thirds of its dimensions. We did this very often right after putting the bike into the car and the bag next to it. The space the empty bag occupies is wonderfully small.
My safety concerns on airports turned out to be unfounded. The soft-sided bag supported my bike safely while providing the ease of a soft case for travel and storage. Admittedly traveling with your bike is at all time’s nerve-racking thing, but you lessen this stress in case if there is a bag at hand the shines with all those mentioned features and through its durability. I don’t think the Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA is not matchless, however the above mentioned features, details and its construction makes it outstanding at the end of the day.
I didn’t believe that this bag could be substituted for a hard case. But after frequent travelling via airplane, train and car in different environments and under various tough circumstances, I don’t really see a huge need for a hard case.
My race mate carries a Scicon hard case bike traveler, and he can’t stop praising it as he travels all year long all over the globe. The higher expense paid off within brief time for him just merely based on the fact that he at no time had to pay attention in regards to secure and save arrival.
Once upon opportunity I would like to compere those bag-fellows, and see how they compare. That being said I am a firm believer that the following should be prioritized in the first place:
Handling, maneuverability and protection.
All boxes ticked in my book, and truth be told, by well-placed padding, I never got got worried whether my bike will arrive in one piece. The bag become a ‘loved-child’ within the team very quickly and I had a constant requests to lend it.
Undeniably I didn’t treated it tenderly. At cyclocross races, the bag was exposed to harsh elements, had to roll over uneven, frozen and muddy surfaces. I had no time to maintain and keep the roller-bearings clean and tidy, but they roll smoothly ever since. I also had to witness how the rude airport personnel treated the bag and was apprehensive to open it and see the consequences: a broken frame. None of it. All the stuff in the bag stayed intact, I was just truly sorry for the beating the poor bag had to ‘accept’.
Putting the bike in and out became a second nature and a finely tuned routine. We challenged the bag once by squeezing in a sizable triathlon bike. Frankly, it isn’t dimensioned for this rig, but after taking apart the bike, we managed to put it in there safely. As for the long term durability, the case will be used from now on even more frequently as the real race season is about to be kicked off.
There is just one challenge though, my mates became eager to reach for the Scicon AeroComfort more than I would like to realize.
I had been asked how I feel about the costs. My take on it, as always: upon initial and continuous good experience with the product, the thoughts of initial cost vanishes very quickly.
Granted, the bag needs to be traveled, and used on and on, in order to amortize the costs. Truthfully though, in comparison to other market competitors it is a shoulder-on-shoulder rivalry. I don’t take into account the cheapo producers, but among the highly regard brands the Scicon AeroComfort is really well designed and a long standing companion.
I have talked to users that possess Scicon bags of earlier models, and the feedback had been unison positive. Interesting fact is though that 70-80 percent of them went for the hard case one, along the lines of: “one time purchase” and you are good to go.
Kudos to Scicon. There is only one model in the pipeline that could beat the Scicon AeroComfort MTB 3.0 TSA, and that’s their hard case model. I hope to test and compare the hard case down the road under similar or even more taxing conditions
Material: 840D nylon
Dimensions: 53” length 35” height 9” depth
Carry Handles: 1 shoulder, 1 side
Pockets: 2 wheel
Recommended Use: Travel with mountain or road bike
Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime